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232          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

good prose, which explains the fact that Chinese prose is
"singable" (see page 219). For anyone who has ears, this
tonal rhythm can be easily sensed in Ruskin's or Walter
Pater's prose. Observe the contrast between words ending
in "liquids" like /, m, n, ng and words ending in "explosives"
like p> t, k in Ruskin's writings, and this total rhythm can be
easily analysed.

In classical T'ang poetry this alternation is quite complex,
as in the following "regular55 scheme ("o" standing for the
soft tones and "" standing for the hard tones). In reading
the following, say "sing" for "o" and "say" for "", to feel the
contrasting effect, giving the says a final, more or less abrupt
tone:

f  i.   o O    O o   (rhyme)
\  2.     o O   o    (rhyme)

| 3.     o o o  

{4.   o o    o o    (rhyme)

f 5.   o o   o o 

\ 6.   o  o o   o   (rhyme)

(7.     O o o  

(8.   o o   * o o   (rhyme)

After the fourth syllable in each line there is a hiatus. Each
two lines form a couplet by themselves, and the middle two
couplets must be real couplets, i.e., all the words in each line
must be balanced against corresponding words in the other line,
both in tone and meaning. The easiest way to understand this
sense of alternation is to imagine two interlocutors speaking to
one another, each speaking a line. Take the first four and the
last three syllables of each line as two individual units, and
substitute for them two English words, and the result is a
pattern as outlined below.

(A)  ah, yes?

(B)  but, no?